Quick Previews: Big Ten Conference

Our conference quick previews are just quick predictions for the all-conference teams and the conference standings. If you came here looking for a deep analysis on each team, you’ve came to the wrong place. We’re too lazy to do that 🙂

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. On December 15, Bo Ryan retired following Wisconsin’s win over Texas A&M Corpus Cristi. The Badgers were 7-5 with losses to Western Illinois and Milwaukee. A few weeks later, they started the Big Ten season 1-4. And then everything changed. Wisconsin won 11 of their last 13 games in the regular season, made it to the Sweet 16 after a buzzer beater by Bronson Koenig and Greg Gard was officially named their head coach. Now, the Badgers are the favorites to win the league this year, as they return litterally every player that played a role last season. But they’ll definitely be challenged for the top spot by multiple teams. Michigan State is #11 in our Preseason Top 25. The Spartans will take on a different look this season after losing Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello, but key returners like Eron Harris mixed with a very good recruiting class will make Michigan State one of the best teams in the country. Purdue is another contender, as we have them at #12. The Boilermakers have one of, if not the best frontcourt in the nation in Caleb Swanigan, Issac Haas and Vincent Edwards. If they can learn to handle pressure, they could end up on top of the standings. And don’t count out Indiana, who will be one of the most athletic teams in the country. Our #14 ranked team, Indiana will need to fill the ginormous hole left by Yogi Ferrell’s graduation, but athletes like Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby and more should make the Hoosiers elite.

After the 4 main contenders, Maryland will be a very tough out for any team in the league, thanks to the return of Melo Trimble. If he can get his shooting touch back, watch out. Ohio State returns their top six scorers from last year’s NIT team. The Buckeyes could very well be one of the breakout teams in the nation this year. Michigan also returns a ton from last year’s team that just snuck into the Big Dance. Look for them to possibly challenge for a spot towards the top of the standings this season. Then you have a bunch of teams that could make the NCAA Tournament if things go right, but could also be NIT bound. Those teams are Illinois, Northwestern and Iowa.

Big Ten Projected Standings

(Records from 2015-2016 season)

1. Wisconsin: 22-13 (12-6)

2. Michigan State: 29-6 (13-5)

3. Purdue: 26-9 (12-6)

4. Indiana: 27-8 (15-3)

5. Ohio State: 21-14 (11-7)

6. Michigan: 23-13 (10-8)

7. Maryland: 27-9 (12-6)

8. Illinois: 15-19 (5-13)

9. Iowa: 22-11 (12-6)

10. Northwestern: 20-12 (8-10)

11. Penn State: 16-16 (7-11)

12. Nebraska: 16-18 (6-12)

13. Minnesota: 8-23 (2-16)

14. Rutgers: 7-25 (1-17)

First Team All-Big 10

(Stats from 2015-2016 season)

Melo Trimble, Maryland (14.8 PPG, 5.0 APG) PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Thomas Bryant, Indiana (11.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG)

Peter Jok, Iowa (16.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG)

Malcolm Hill, Illinois (18.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG)

Ethan Happ, Wisconsin (12.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG)

NCAA Tournament Bids: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland

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